We can live without food for weeks but we can survive no more than a few days without water.

Water is the most abundant substance in the human body. It is the most essential ingredient in our diet.

  • Blood 83 percent water
  • Lean muscle 73 percent water
  • Body fat 25 percent water
  • Bone 22 percent water

Every cell in every body needs water to function and sustain life. The average human body is comprised of 55-75 percent water.

Our age, fat levels, and gender influence how much water is in our body. Younger people have a higher percent than do older people eg a newborn’s weight is 75 percent water while an elderly person’s weight is approximately 50 percent. Younger people tend to have more muscle than older people do and lean tissue (muscle) has more water than fat tissue – therefore the leaner the person the higher the proportion of water in their body. Women tend to have less lean tissue than men and so have a lower percentage of water than men.

Water performs many functions in the body:

  • Regulates temperature
  • Transports nutrients, oxygen, hormones to the body cells
  • Carries waste products from the body
  • Keeps mucous membranes moist
  • Essential part of blood, saliva, digestive juices, lymph, amniotic fluid and urine
  • Helps cushion joints
  • Protects the body organs and tissues
  • Keeps skin moist
  • Stimulates the sebaceous glands of the hair follicles to secrete oils.

It can help:

  • prevent bladder infections
  • prevent muscle cramps
  • prevent/relieve fatigue
  • keep skin moist from within
  • help remove cellular waste
  • help prevent constipation.

To ensure that all these vital functions are performed it is essential that we continually replenish the water stores in our body. We continually lose water from our body through:

  • Urine – average adult loses 10 cups per day
  • Perspiration – average adult loses 2-4 cups per day
  • Breathing – average adult loses 1.5 cups per day
  • Faeces – average adult loses 2/3rd cup per day.

Pregnancy, breast feeding, exercise and being in a very dry environment (eg air travel) mean we need to drink more water. We need to consume an additional cup of water for each cup of caffeine drink and for each alcohol drink we consume.

There are different kinds of water:

  • hard’ tap water. Usually underground water – contains lots of minerals.
  • soft’ tap water. Usually surface water from streams, rainwater, snow melt – contains fewer minerals than hard water.
  • filtered tap water. Tap water can be filtered using different grades of filters to filter out impurities to varying degrees depending on the type of filter/s used.
  • distilled water. Distilled water is condensate from boiling water.
  • mineral water. Mineral water is spring water – naturally alkaline and mildly diuretic.
  • spring water. Spring water is mineral water but from surface springs, instead of from underground springs. Spring water contains fewer minerals than mineral water.
  • still water. Still water is spring water that has risen to the ground surface without the help of naturally occurring gasses (spring water).
  • sparkling water. Still water with bubbles
  • seltzer water. Seltzer water is sometimes known as eg soda water, club soda or carbonated water.
  • plain bottled water. Bottled water is just that bottled water. It is often just tap water with all the impurities of tap water. Other times it has undergone various degrees of filtration.

What is in the water or what kind of water is not the only consideration.

We need to look at other factors such as packaging, source – it is from our bioregion and going to benefit our local economy, how far has it travelled, the lifespan of filters, and what is in rainwater from our roof, etc?